05.29.2012 08:11 AM

Best comment on Baird’s decision to “speak loudly” on Syrian pogroms…

…by someone who knows whereof he speaks. Like he says: too little, too late.


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    JamesHalifax says:

    I thought the $10 Million we shipped to Maher Arar was supposed to be our face saving measure?

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      smelter rat says:

      How is that relevant to the discussion?

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      Michael S says:

      There is no compensation for being whisked off for open-ended detention and torture in a Syrian jail. In hindsight some people might say it’s a fair trade. Just try living it not knowing the outcome.

      (Yes, I’m @slavitch on Twitter. As WK knows I don’t hide who I am)

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    Philip says:

    If only SNC-Lavelin had a half finished project the Assad regime could threaten, then Harper might be arsed to do something. For now, Canadians will just have to endure the braying of that congenital gobshite, Baird, as a substitute for actually doing anything constructive.

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    JamesHalifax says:

    Ok, Phil…..what do you suggest. Shall we start the bombing campaign? What?

    We’ve already done everything that can reasonably be expected without the use of Force…because frankly, that is what you are asking for.

    inevitably, we’ll just replace another dictator with an Islamicist….and that is even worse.

    As for Mahar Arar………please look back in time and see who was in charge when that happened.

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      Philip says:

      I’m pretty certain that the only options to anything happening in the world aren’t: do nothing or start the bombing campaign. But then I’m not a Conservative.

      The Canadian government could work with our NATO ally in the region, Turkey, send disaster relief assistance to deal with the Syrian refugees streaming across their border. Freeing up Turkish military assets, currently on that job, to stop Syrian death squads from nipping across the border to shoot up refugee columns. Why not have DFIAT really work pressure on Russia, now their support of the Assad regime is no longer tenable? Or dare to take a strong leadership role at the U.N., like Canada used to.

      Just three small, constructive ideas none of which involved either military force or doing nothing, James.

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        JamesHalifax says:

        Philip, Turkey is not a poor country….they don’t need any disaster assistance, and unless they ask for it, it would be inappropriate to effectively say, “Since you aren’t capable of helping yourselves…what if we lend a hand”

        Why bother freeing up Turkish military assets? In case you are unaware, Turkey has a huge military….far larger than ours. They’re fine, I can assure you. If Turkey WANTED to stop the death squads nipping across their borders, they have the assets in place to do so.

        Pressure on Russia? Sure…..that would work well. Don’t hold your breath with Putin in charge.

        Strong leadership role at the UN? Sorry….that is a useless organization, and what we usually end up doing is sending millions of bucks over to them….and accomplish nothing.

        sorry philip, all the measures you submit are typical of those who want to APPEAR to be doing something, without actually having to commit.

        Small ideas…true. But certainly not constructive in the real geopolitical world.

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          Philip says:

          Oh, I see. You just wanted options of which you personally approve. Just be up front about that next time.

          James’ objections seem to boil down to the following:
          Let’s never offer any assistance to NATO allies. It’s mean and they really shouldn’t need help anyway. Besides that, Wikipedia told me they have big army so let’s never ask an ally of over 40 years if Canada could do anything for them to ease the growing refugee problems their Syrian border.

          Attempt to apply public diplomatic pressure on Syria’s only large power ally? Particularly after Syrian death squads executed and mutilated women and children? Sounds like hard work, the Russians may say no and hurt our feelings. Better not make the effort.

          I don’t like the U.N. because that nice man on TV told me it was filled with dirty foreigners who just take our money and talk.

          I’m not buying your half hearted objections to the options Canada has to do more about the Syrian crisis than tut-tut on the sidelines. Important things are tough to do, they require effort but they need to be seen through to the end. I really have to wonder what Canada would look like now if those who came before us never tried anything because it was too hard or someone might say no.

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            JamesHalifax says:

            No,philip….I would prefer options that may actually have a chance to make a difference. Your selection was simply a group of ideas that made little sense.

            We are always willing to help our NATO allies (or non-NATO if they request it) but only if that Ally asks for our help and requires it.

            Diplomatic Pressure on Russia. Sorry…the Russians have their own agenda. We can say something on TV for public consumption, but the reality is the RUSSIANS don’t really care what happens to the Syrian people, because they are allies with the Syraian Government. Again, it’s an idea meant to pretend you care……it doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

            The UN is completely unreliable, and many of their bodies are made up of the worlds despots and dictators. Frankly, the UN is a huge waste of money. I say that as someone who has seen them in action….it’s not what I heard on TV.

            I don’t care if you buy my objections one way or another. I’m a REALIST….I’m more in favour of doing what actually works, as opposed to coming up with suggestions that may make you feel good…but does nothing tangible.

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            Philip says:

            It’s not as if you bothered to come up with your own solutions, is it James? Trust a Conservative to find excuses for doing nothing at all. Simply because you don’t personally approve of my suggestions doesn’t mean they won’t work or are not worth pursuing. I can’t help but notice you haven’t provided any evidence my ideas wouldn’t work, all you managed to provide were warmed over talking points and a jumble of personal bias. It’s easy work demanding other people furnish ideas and then shitting all over them, that way you never have to bring anything useful to the table.

            Low risk, low reward may work in the short term but nothing important, good or lasting will ever come from that. Which is why the Harper Conservatives will always be remembered as a gaggle of sheep led by slightly smarter sheep.

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            JamesHalifax says:

            Philip, sometimes the solution is unpalletable. In the case of these Islamic countries, the only available solution is to use force. Talking is fine, but do you know of ANY dictator who leaves willingly BEFORE they kill thousands?

            Remember, Iraq had a dictator and Chretien kept us out of there….but Force was needed to get rid of him.

            As for your ideas not working….well, those ideas have been tried in the past and they have NEVER worked. I suppose it can be equated to socialism….it’s never actually WORKED, but everyone thinks they know how to do if differently so that it does work.

            Sorry…it’s the nature of the beast. Socialism, is destined to failure, just as talking to a dictator, or a dictators’ friends to make them change their behaviour NEVER works. It may make you sound compassionate or passionate about an issue….but at the end of the day Assad is still shooting women and children.

            Saying “Please stop killing your people” doesn’t work in these countries. Saying, “Please stop killing your people or we’ll unleash the full force of allied military on you” …just might.

            That option is never popular however.

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            Philip says:

            James, you do realize that Syria is a secular parliamentary republic, right? The Assads have always been head of Ba’ath Party, a secular political party which spent a lot of time in the 1970-80s making life unpleasant for Muslim clerics. To call Syria an Islamist state is to misunderstand the political reality on a fundimental level. As a realist, James, I would hope that getting at least the broad strokes of how Syria functions correct would be important to you.

            Leaning on a regime’s supporters in the international community is never a wasted effort. China, North Korea’s only ally has managed to keep a lid on the craziness since the mid 1950s. On some occasions it was in China’s interest on others the international community and even the U.N. used their soft power influence with China to prod the North Koreans into shape. Diplomatic pressure has worked in the past with dictatorships and could work here. Why not try? Not every dictator has been evicted through the use of external force. Just because you don’t agree with a course of action doesn’t mean it can’t work. That’s not being a realist, it’s being obtuse.

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    brad maynard says:

    should we really be caring what a bunch of goat herding, western society haters do? seriously, we do nothing and we get #$%^ on. we bomb the offending regime, we get $%^# on. considering the choices i would just soon save ourselves the time, money, and lives of our soldiers and let those of the backward segment of world society continue to kill each other until none are left standing. far less headaches and at the same time no one can accuse us of interfering with their “politics”.
    im so sick of the middle east. just buy their oil and let them do whatever they want to their own citizens.

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      Philip says:

      Should anyone really care what you think?

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      smelter rat says:

      That’s very Christian of you.

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      JamesHalifax says:

      Buying their oil is one of the reasons the middle east is so corrupt and violent. Every time we buy their oil, we’re putting money in the pockets of dictators or extremists; and they just buy weapons with it.

      STOP buying mideast oil (buy Canadian) if at all possible, and STOP selling them advanced weapon systems. A lot of the crap we’re dealing with now has been self-inflicted. Can’t just blame the “goat herders”….most of whom just want the same things we want.

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        Jason King says:

        “Buying their oil is one of the reasons the middle east is so corrupt and violent.”

        This statement is so poorly thought out that it could easily be inferred that Alberta and Saskatchewan are destined for the same fate.

        Is Texas also a bastion of corruption and violence? They found oil years ago in Sarnia? Has it decayed to rampant corruption and violence?

        Therefore James it wasnt oil that is exclusively responsible for the problems you cite in the Middle East. Being a realist, as you claim, you’d figure you’d understand that things are rarely that simplistic in life. A bit of historical research will clear that up.

        Did we have this conversation earlier about you jumping to conclusions regarding anti-israeli people and nazis?

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          JamesHalifax says:

          Umm…Jason…..please read what I wrote a little more carefully please. I think most folks reading it will understand it is not the commodity purchased that accounts for the corruption and violence. It’s the fact they are receiving billions of dollars for it.

          It’s the money they get….not how they get it.

          Take the culture in that region, mix in a lot of cash…and you get what you see today. Trying to compare the middle east to Canada or the USA is just foolish, but coming from you I am not surprised. I’d say the conclusions being jumped…..originate in your mind.

          Deep breath, Jason. I’ll make it easy for you.

          Dictators + money = corruption and violence.
          Islamic fanatics + Money = the spread of Islamic fanaticism, corruption and violence.

          It doesn’t matter what they sell…….what matters is what they do with the money we give them. And the weapons.

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          kootcoot says:

          “Is Texas also a bastion of corruption and violence?”

          Now that you mention it, YEAH!

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    kenn2 says:

    Y’all are carrying on like we actually have a national foreign policy.

    That was outsourced to the US right after the last election, and Canada’s foreign policy efforts consist of reaching the conclusions that Washington has faxed to us. Agree with this, denounce that, buy this jet…

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